Loyalty Program News You Could Use: Week of July 16, 2012!

There is lots of loyalty news concerning airlines this week, especially since the Skytrax World Alliance Awards were held last week at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Read more to see which airlines were named the world’s best, learn about a big news from United, read the new partnership announcement from Marriott Rewards and  learn why hotel rooftop bars are becoming all the rage in the hotel world.

Qatar Airways took the top three accolades at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for a second year in a row! Qatar airways won “Airline of the Year 2012”, “Best Airline in the Middle East” for the seventh consecutive year and “Best Airline Staff Service” award in the Middle East. The World Airline Awards also named its top 10 airlines in the world for 2012, which were: Qatar, Asiana, Singapore, Cathay Pacific, ANA All Nippon Airways, Etihad, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airways, and Malaysia Airlines. Other winners included China Eastern Airlines taking honors of being the most improved airline, Air Transat won the “World’s Best Leisure Airline”, Asiana Airlines won the top accolade for the best economy class seat, and AirAsia was named as the world’s best low-cost airline. To see all the 2012 winners in various categories click here.

United Continental Holdings has put in an order of 150 Boeing’s biggest single-aisle jets including 50 737-900ERs and 100 737 Max 9 jets, which is valued at $14.7 billion. This will allow United to replace its older and less fuel efficient planes like Boeing’s 757 with planes that are 15% more fuel efficient. The planes will be delivered between 2013 through 2022.

In a recent survey from Skyscanner, Turkish Airlines has the best airline food. The airline’s cuisine had a score of 86% putting it at the top of the list for a second year in a row. The airline offers a gourmet menu with some dishes representing Turkish culture and the airline’s food is prepared with fresh ingredients. Turkish Airlines came second, in best economy class on-board catering in the World Airline Awards, being edged out of first place by Singapore Airlines. Which airline cuisine do you enjoy the most?

Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas is expanding its South American destinations with new flights from Sao Paulo to Montevideo and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It will also increase the number of flights to Buenos Aires. These expansion of South American routes will give tourists and locals more flexibility and options for travel in the South American region.

Starbucks has expanded its mobile platform internationally with its roll out of its app for Android to the UK and Canada. US customers who download or update the app for Android will have new enhancements, including PayPal support, PIN code protection and the ability to view their rewards history. For those in the UK and Canada, a range of features will be available, including paying with their phone, paying and reloading their Starbucks card through the app, and managing their Starbucks account and rewards status.

Marriott Rewards and Ctrip.com, China’s leading travel service enterprise, have launched a global partnership. Ctrip has a hotel reservation network of over 50,000 hotels in 138 countries with 50 million members. Marriott Rewards members can now earn Ctrip points when they stay at a Marriott hotel. To promote the partnership Marriott Rewards and Ctrip members will receive a Double Ctrip points welcome offer. Before November 15, Ctrip members who join Marriott Rewards and choose to earn Ctrip points as their earning preference will be able to double their Ctrip points.

It appears that rooftop bars are becoming more and more popular in hotels all over the country with elaborate decor, food, and cocktail menus. In the past, rooftop bars were mostly seen in boutique hotels, but now bigger hotel chains are incorporating them as part of a trend of taking space available into social areas. Revenue at hotel bars can reach up to $120 per square foot per month in peak season, so it’s no wonder they are popping up everywhere! The newest rooftop bars include The Conrad New York, The Raffaello Hotel, and The Ritz-Carlton in Washington DC. Good food, fancy cocktails and a guaranteed killer view…maybe business trips will become something to look forward to!

Have a great week full of deals, bonuses and loyalty love!

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